What to Wear to a College Campus Job Interview

Professor with student
Choosing appropriate interview attire will help you make the best impression. Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A campus job interview can be difficult to dress for since there are a lot of different types of positions available on a college campus. While the specifics of what you wear might vary, you should aim for an appropriate and polished look at all times.

What to Wear to a College Campus Job Interview

Accordingly, you may need to adjust your everyday outfit that you'd wear to class or the dining hall in order to appear interview-ready.

Although that certainly doesn't mean you have to wear a formal suit or carry a briefcase, you should take the extra few minutes to look nice for your interview - whether that means putting on a nice pair of earrings, polishing your shoes, or ironing your shirt.

For most campus interviews, business casual will do. Think a more "professional version" of an outfit you might wear out to dinner. For example, a wrinkle-free pair of pants and a button-down, polo shirt, or sweater would do. Unless you're interviewing for a more formal type position, like an executive assistantship in the Dean's Office, then tailored, dark-wash jeans or colored slacks are okay, too.

Men might opt for a decent pair of dress shoes, and women can choose between flats or dressy boots, depending on the weather. While it's a generally a good idea to avoid sneakers, high heels or extremely formal men's shoes aren't necessary.

When you're putting together an outfit, a good rule of thumb is to think back to your college admissions interview. That same style of dress generally works for campus job interviews, too.

Here are some more tips on dressing for a campus job interview:

  • Even though it's a campus interview, you still want to look nice, so don't wear your sweatpants or pajamas - even if you're coming from an 8 a.m. class.
     
  • Be discriminatory when wearing your university's logo gear. Interviewing with the athletics departments or vying for a spot as a tour guide? You'd probably be okay wearing a nice crew neck sweater with your school's logo on it, but avoid hoodies or anything too casual.
     
  • Adjust your level of formality to the type of position. For example, if you're applying to be a lifeguard in the university gym, you can dress more on the "casual" side of "business casual." However, other circumstances - like an interview to be a Dean's Ambassador, or to work in public relations for the alumni organization - might call for a tailored look.
     
  • Keep your accessories, like jewelry, makeup, and perfume or cologne, to a minimum. You want the focus to be on you, not on your fashion sense.
     
  • Don't be afraid to ask your interviewer the office dress code if you have any lingering doubts. When you're scheduling your interview over the phone or via email, it's okay to ask something like, "Also, I was wondering if the office had a dress code?" Your interviewer's answer should give you a good sense of what to wear.
     
  • Remember that although your attire is key to making a good first impression, you have to be able to act the part in addition to looking it. Brush up on interview questions and answers, proofread your resume and print a copy for your interviewer, and review the top interview tips, including interview tips for college students, before the big day.